- Some familiar-sounding anecdotes emerge from this time in the Verstappens’ lives: Jos sending Max out changing certain things on the kart without telling him, to improve his feedback, or continuing to test even when the rain came, and most people packed up and went home.
But there were less conventional methods: “Even in races I told him because he was winning so easily, for example, that he couldn’t overtake in a certain corner or certain part on track. So, he had to find different spots to do that. It was just to make it more difficult for him, to find other ways to overtake or not.”
“Feeling” was important to Jos. “Especially when you are young.” Data had been a rare commodity during his own junior career but he didn’t want Max to become reliant on it. He wanted his son to know what to do in as many situations as possible, to understand where the grip was in wet conditions, what he could see with his eyes versus how it felt through the wheel, and how the kart would react on different lines.
Verstappen was taught to learn by doing, to figure out the limits on his own but also to understand where the kart could be faster as well. He was also told not to lie: if he didn’t feel a difference, say that. And he bought into the process.